Patio Doors: Increase Home Style and Value

I’ve discussed before in several posts about the importance of a door. That it being a subtle transition from room to room, a quick pause for a setup of a new design or color, or to further enhance the overall style are just a few points of its major significance. Today, during this post, I’d like to discuss a style of door that looks so good it can and will increase your home’s value.
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Why Patio Doors?

Why patio doors, you may ask? The answer is simple. It’s a style that’s been around for decades and continues to drop jaws in amazement. It does so for a couple of reasons. Here, I’ll explain.
patio doors
Adds Beauty: There’s no doubt about it, a patio door makes a house more beautiful. Whether you have a large space or merely adequate, a patio door will set off the front (or back) of your house nicely, and it’ll positively change the look, especially in terms of curb appeal.
patio doors
Adds Value: If you’ve just installed a patio door, any style of it, then pat yourself on the back because you have directly added value to your home. A brilliantly-designed, masterfully-installed patio door will illuminate your entire front porch in terms of appeal, something that makes a tremendous difference when asking top dollar for your home.
patio doors
Improves Energy Efficiency: Installing one of these bad boys means more natural light and fresh air to come into your home. This means spending less money on the AC, and also on electricity, having to use artificial light. Definitely nothing wrong with a little bit of sunshine in your life, right
 

Patio Doors – Styles

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Sliding: Also called gliding doors, this kind of style has quickly rose as a more popular option. It’s capable of letting in a lot of natural light, giving that fresh, clear-as-day appearance and makes thing less “stuffy” in a household. They usually consist of two or more panel, one obviously having the capability of sliding back and forth.
patio doors
Swinging: These doors operate pretty similar to a regular, standard door and “swing” in the same fashion. They’re also called “hinged” doors for that same reason, by the way. They’re usually center hung with a hinge on either side of the door. Pretty cool design and mechanism of if you ask me. There’s a second type of swinging patio door, which is widely known as the “french” door, a dual-door that meets in the middle.
patio doors
Folding: These are my personal favorite because when folded all the way out, you gain a vast amount of space. They operate much like a folding ladder almost, or an accordion, folding a few times before being bunched at the very end of the overhead track.  
 

Patio Doors – Materials

patio doors
Fiberglass: An excellent option, and definitely cost-effective, fiberglass can emulate the look and feel of wood, giving you the natural appearance that you’re looking for.
 
patiodoors
patio doors
Aluminum: Very strong, very durable, but also incredibly light, which (trust me on this one) goes a long way when it comes to installation. Aluminum is a fantastic material for your patio door.
patio doors
Steel: Another cost-friendly option, but definitely not as light as the aforementioned. This kind of doors are treated to prevent any minor or major rust issues, so there’s definitely no worries in terms of weathering.
patio doors
Vinyl: Strong, durable, but pretty darn expensive. It has the ability to withstand most climates, and will never fade, discolor, or flake. An excellent material for ANY door, really.
patio doors
Wood: One of your more common choices. This option comes in a variety of stains and characteristics, making it a very popular option.
 


Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We are the leading provider of Ledge Stone, wall tile and backsplash tile in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!
Written by: Chris Chamberlain

Featherweight LVT – Heavy on Style

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Let’s be honest, folks. There an abundance of floor styles and designs to choose from. So much, that I’d find it pretty impressive for someone not to get overwhelmed by it. After all, floors are a pretty essential element to your household’s overall design. Do you go with the soft, lush feel of carpet? Or maybe the smooth, elegant appearance of tile? Perhaps you like the wood look, and would much rather install hardwood floors? If you’re in the market for something a little bit different, then search no more. Today, I’ll discuss our Featherweight LVT flooring, give you a glimpse of its benefits, and then at the end, I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether or not it’s the right choice for you and your family. Sound like a good plan? Alright, cool, let’s dig in.

What Exactly is Featherweight LVT?

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featherweight
First off, LVT stands for Luxury Vinyl Tile, and it’s a beautiful product with a number of benefits. Specifically, though, FeatherWeight is an LVT product from Feather Lodge flooring. Available in variety of colors, this product sports a seamless design. It’s epic, really. Alright, now that you know the gist of it, let’s move on to some benefits.

The Benefits of Featherweight LVT

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Durability: This is 100% a built-to-last product. LVT is manufactured to withstand extremely high-trafficked areas. I’m talking your hallways, your kitchens, your bathrooms. Not only that, but it’s scratch-resistant and comes with a fiberglass reinforced core for added strength and stability. I’m not going to sit here and say that it’s impenetrable, but I may or may not have dropped a full jar of jelly once or twice, and it didn’t even budge. Hardcore, man. For real.
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Water-resistant: Yes, you read that right. Gone are the days where your selection is limited because you couldn’t put certain styles in certain areas due to risk. Nope, take all of that and shove it out the window. We’ve just made your process of selection just a tad more difficult, but hey, it’s better to have more choices than a few sloppy ones, right? So, LVT is able to withstand water, no problem. Pretty cool, right?
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Maintenance: So, so simple. A Swiffer broom will do the trick, and when it’s extra clean, it’s definitely a sight to see. Unlike most carpet or some hardwood floors, this style was designed to as simple as possible. Maintenance included.
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Comfort: Super comfy. It’s warmer than laminate and tile. No one likes cold toes. Which is why I’m staving off winter as long as possible. Featherweight LVT will keep each foot cozy. Rest assured.
featherweight
Installation: The “click” system is an relatively simple one, and it’s actually quite satisfying once you get the hang of it. Not too time consuming, and you’ll be happy to know at the very end, you’ll have a seamless floor. That’s a little something we can all appreciate.
 

Why is Featherweight LVT a Good Choice?

Let’s pretend I didn’t just list a good chunk of the pretty cool benefits of this style, okay? It’s an excellent choice because you get your dollars worth. You’re not paying for high, outrageous prices. Not at all. And guess what? We have them here at Builders Surplus. I heavily advise you to come in and take a look at this awesome product AND at the price. You’ll find it’s considerably less than your standard hardwood flooring, and you get the same look. Don’t believe me? Come in to our store! We’d love to sit down and talk to you, maybe work out a FREE DESIGN. You can contact us any day of the week, too. We’re always happy to help!


Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!
Written By: Chris Chamberlain

Low Maintenance Bathroom Sinks For Families

bathroom sinks
 
I think we can all agree that bathrooms are an area in a household that generally requires a little more effort to keep up than other rooms in your home. If you’re like me, you dread the day you’ve dedicated to cleaning this room because, let’s just be honest, there are about fifty other things you’d rather spend your Sunday afternoon doing. Cleaning sinks? 100% not one of them, especially with Fall weather in the horizon.
Much rather be at a pumpkin patch at Huber’s farms, or preparing a Halloween costume for a party, or taking a lazy day, sipping hot, flavored coffee and cuddled up next to Cailey, my girlfriend, breaking into a Harry Potter marathon. THAT is my ideal Sunday. But, alas, we’re human, and we tend to get a bit messy, and messes were meant to be cleaned. Luckily, there are products that you can install that will make cleaning day just a little bit easier. Like a sink, for example. You may not be aware of this, but some sink material and styles are better than others in terms of maintenance.
 

Stainless Steel Bathroom Sinks

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Believe it or not, this style is actually trending in bathroom design. Now, I know you’re probably thinking that stainless steel belongs more in a kitchen than it does a bathroom, but I think you’d be surprised by the look. That’s not exactly why it’s such a hot trend right now, however. It’s the low-maintenance and upkeep that sets these bathroom sinks apart from the rest. According to a consumer report, this material withstood a number of tests to prove its outstanding durability.
“They fended off stains from cleaning products and drain cleaner, and also resisted heat, dents, and dings.” My opinion? This is a very unique idea. If you’re looking to go against the grain and reap the benefits in the process, I’d consider this choice, for sure.
 

All-in-One Bathroom Sinks

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This sink style is actually pretty neat, if you ask me. The sink itself is molded to the countertop. You simply fasten it to the wall, and you’re all but done. I suggest this style because it is stupid easy to clean, seeing as there’s no ridges or seams to contend with. In one smooth, fluid motion, you can clean this bathroom sink without the worry of having to deal with nooks and edges.
Typically, these sinks are available in porcelain and ceramic, which a more standard material for your sinks, but within reason. Also, this type of sink is perfect for family bathrooms. With the amount of traffic and use, maintenance tends to always be on the mind.
 

Vessel Bathroom Sinks

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Ah, my personal favorite. I can still remember when my dad first installed one of these for a previous customer. He’d already done so when I visited the work site, and when I walked into the fairly large bathroom, it was literally the first thing that caught my eye. Jaw dropped a bit, and I’m pretty sure something like, “Woah!” escaped my mouth. Or an excited expletive, I can’t really remember.
The point here is, it’s a mesmerizing look. Truly. It’s a beautiful crafted sink bowl that sits on top of the countertop. But be careful when you install it, though. Set it too high and washing your hands will be a task like no other – extremely uncomfortable. These are available in a variety of finishes like polished stainless steel, hand-painted porcelain, carved stone and spun glass. These are all durable materials, particularly the stainless steel as we’ve discussed before.
 

Material of Bathroom Sinks

Just a little fair warning before we part ways today. According to the consumer report I talked about earlier, you shouldn’t always be prone to go with the most common materials in a bathroom sink. In fact, the report said, you should look at other ones first before going that route. This is solely because during their tests, tempered glass, enameled cast iron, and some of the acrylic sinks dented slightly or chipped away during their impact tests. But, let’s be real here, you’re not going to be hammering down on your sink for no reason, right?
I hope you enjoyed this blog post, and it gave you a little insight on which sink will be the best for you and your household! Just remember, sometimes, in the long run, going against the grain is an absolutely great thing that provides a stunning effect.
 
 

Craftsman Style Window for Extra Charm

Ah, the Craftsman Style Window. Arguably, many homeowners favorite style of windows, and rightfully so! It alleviates the look of the usual, plain-jane and ordinary window to one of planned architecture. It’s just another way to add a bit of curvature into the design of your house, and cast some light on the beauty of a well-designed home. Take note, while these are not exactly considered a rare style, it certainly will provoke a similar reaction as if it was. Without further ado, let’s talk about some things you can do to achieve this lovely look of elegance in the windows of your home.
craftsman style window

Craftsman Style Window – Getting the Look

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With this style, it is ALL finish work. And I mean that quite literally. To achieve the craftsman appearance, it comes down to the finishing touches. What do I mean by finishing touches? The trim and the moulding. As this style is mainly seen and closely related to what’s called “Bungalow-styled” houses, you’ll find that the windows all have accompanied moulding and trim to them.
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With that said, typically these types of houses are all seen with double hung grid windows in combination with casement awning and/or picture windows. This allows for more natural light to seep through.
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Like I mentioned before, the prominent part about this look is the finish work. Craftsman moulding is what gives this style its name. It’s commonly found in the American Bungalow, as well. It’s easy to install, very affordable, and big, which just adds to the look. If you’re starting from scratch, make sure you apply a high-resolution paint job. I’m talking PURE-WHITE finish, make it shiny, glossy even. It’s an added element to that style that shouts at you…in a good way, of course.
craftsman style window
Once you’ve trimmed out the entire window, the bottom, top, and the sides, you’re pretty much almost there. Now it’s time to fill the gaps with caulk. Once again, another finishing touch that is super important to achieving this look!
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Allow the caulk to dry for a solid 24 hours. You can never be too sure with that stuff, trust me. Make sure the whole area is clean, the caulk beads look straight and in unison, and there you go! You have it! The craftsman look!
 


Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We are the leading provider of Ledge Stone, wall tile and backsplash tile in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!
Written By: Chris Chamberlain
 

Reclaimed Wood Flooring: DIY it from Unfinished Wood

Reclaimed Wood Flooring is such a unique style, one that’s all on its own. It epitomizes the rustic approach and is perfect for cottage settings, or even the traditional style kitchen. Today, I’m going to discuss on how you can achieve this look by doing-it-yourself and using unfinished wood flooring.

Reclaimed Wood Flooring – Using Unfinished Wood

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The first step to this process would be, of course, to get your primary material, unfinished wood. Think of these pieces as a clean slate, an empty canvas just waiting to be drawn upon. It provides an opportunity for limitless creativity, and allows you to create the style you have in mind. In the reclaimed look. Lucky for you, we have what you need at Builders Surplus, with plenty of unfinished wood in-stock for your choosing!
 
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Reclaimed Wood Flooring – Roughing It Up!

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Some of these methods I gained from the people at younghouselove.com – they have brilliant ideas for stuff like this, and I definitely took note!
Sanding: After you purchase your unfinished woods, it’s time to start roughing it up a bit. First, sand the surface, making it smooth. Getting rid of the initial texture will already make the wood look a bit aged! Next, it’s time to start roughing up the wood!
reclaimed wood flooring
Bag of Screws: I’ve seen plenty of techniques on distressing wood, and this one right here, although peculiar, results in an excellent effect. Smack a bag of screws across your sanded surface and notice the little dimples it creates! Just enough to set off the texture, and for it to look weathered.
reclaimed wood flooring
Hammer it!: Now don’t pick up a hammer and go Thor on your unfinished wood, now. Instead, place small dents across each board. Scatter them out, and don’t make it look like a hammer was there. Remember, the key to pulling off this look is for it look like time/weather created it, not you.
reclaimed wood flooring
Groove it!: Use a long screw with threading and press down, using the threads to groove the soft wood. You can switch it up, too! Perform all of these techniques on the board – OR – make it a variety and distress each one differently. It’s up to you!
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Screw Small Holes: Ever looked at a piece of old wood and noticed all the small holes from insects and bugs? Pretty cool, right? Achieve this look by piloting small holes with a drill bit across the tops of the board!
 
Sand It Again: Now that you’ve beat it up a bit, sand it to give it the smooth texture. Not too much or you’ll end up undoing what you just did. Press down lightly in circular motions, and that should do the trick.!
reclaimed wood flooring

Reclaimed Wood Flooring – It’s Stain Time

Alright, now this another choice that is solely yours, but I’m here to tell you that the darker the stain the better. Of course, you can mix it up with some lighter stains, for sure. All of it doesn’t have to be dark, and to be honest, it shouldn’t be if you’re trying to get the true reclaimed wood flooring look. To name some off the top of my head, Dark Cherry, Red Oak, Maple, Red Mahogany, and Dark Walnut are just some of the choices you have. Pair those with lighter stains like Pickled Oak, Pickled White, Honeytone, and Winter White, and you’ll achieve the look. Trust me. As for the brand, I highly suggest Rust-Oleum. They have the best stain, hands down, everything from deck stain to distressed look. They’re excellent.
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reclaimed wood flooring
 
Now, mind you, these are just some ideas for you. There are a plethora of methods you can do to distress wood and create a variety for your reclaimed wood flooring. This post is just for you to gain inspiration and ensure you that it’s actually an easier process than it looks. And it’s really, really fun. Hope this inspired you even in the slightest, and that you think about this idea during your next remodel! Take care and stay blessed!


Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We are the leading provider of Ledge Stone, wall tile and backsplash tile in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!
Written by: Chris Chamberlain
 
 
 

25 Easy Remodeling Ideas to Transform Your Home

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There are times when you look around your place and have the need to change the scenery a bit. Not completely renovate the entire place, but maybe add a touch of color here or make something crafty to hang on the wall there. Take a look at your countertops, tile, carpet, and flooring options, and see if you have room for improvement. Honestly, it could be as simple as applying a new bead of caulk. Just know that finishing touches are where the money accrues!  Here is a list of 25 ideas to hopefully inspire you when you get that itch to change something. They’re relatively easy, inexpensive, and most of the things needed can be acquired here at Builders Surplus. Grab a nice, cold drink and allow me to entertain you with a nice, crafty list. Enjoy! remodeling ideas

1. Remodeling Ideas – Paint your Interior Doors

Add some color to your interior doors to brighten up your household. Go bold, or play with more neutral colors. Either way, it’s a simple, cost-effective way to switch things up a bit. remodeling ideas

2. Add Trim to Your Windows

Framing your windows is an excellent way to add elaborate detail to an otherwise plain feature. You can frame it entirely OR simply put up a piece of moulding at the top to give it a refined look. remodeling ideas

3. Update your Cabinet Hardware

Give your kitchen and bath cabinets a new look by switching the old hardware with a new, sleekly finished look. Now, it may not seem like much as you read this, but I can assure you that once you’ve switched them out and take a step back, you’ll be surprised by the difference! remodeling ideas

4. Apply a Different Stain to a Wood Finish

If you’re like me, seeing the same color day in and day out can become a monotonous routine, but there’s always a way to break that slump. Simply apply a different colored stain of your choosing to the wood finishes in your home, like your bannister rails, cabinets, and trim! remodeling ideas

5. Chalkboard in your Kitchen

One of my favorite remodeling ideas, and this one is actually becoming quite popular as a kitchen trend. A bit quirky, yes. But think of all the possibilities – no more forgetting stuff at the grocery store and then there’s always the sweet message or two. Pretty neat! remodeling ideas

6. Mirrors on your Closet Doors

You can create some depth to your bedroom by hanging mirrors on your closet doors. Not only that, but you don’t have to spend time getting ready in the bathroom. No more “hogging up the mirror.” remodeling ideas

7. Build Shelves in your Bathroom

An excellent DIY project for a beautiful, weekend afternoon. Building and installing shelves of your own gives you the ability to amplify your style in your bathroom AND alleviates wasted space. See that relatively blank wall there? Make it useful by hanging some shelves. Great visually and functionally. remodeling ideas  

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8. A Floor Renovation

This idea is great if you have carpet in certain parts of your house because getting rid of it is relatively simple as opposed to tile or hardwood floors. Good news! If this is something you’re looking for, we have a plethora of brilliant styles of tile and marvelous hardwood flooring to give your house the sophisticated look you’ve been looking for! remodeling ideas

9. Install a Backsplash

You can do so in your bathroom or kitchen, but either way, backsplashes add to the overall design of each. It’s a finishing touch that doesn’t take too long, isn’t expensive, and once again, we have a number of products here at Builders Surplus that are low-cost AND low-maintenance. It’s a win-win, right? remodeling ideas

10. Put in a Pull-Out Kitchen Faucet

This addition is almost purely for functionality, but whoever said they wouldn’t use this if their house came with it is downright insane. Simply put, a pull-out kitchen sink makes doing that dreaded chore that much easier. A bit of technology that anyone could get behind, in my opinion. remodeling ideas

11. Liven the Atmosphere with Plants

Throw in some greenery around the house, and let nature run its course. It’s one thing to have added decor and make it your own style, but if there’s one element that you can never (usually) go wrong with, it’s having some plants around the house. In the corners or on the sink in the bathroom. remodeling ideas

12. Let there be Light!

Recessed lighting is truly brilliant. There aren’t any outrageous fixtures hanging from the ceiling. It’s just a small, circular instrument snuggled into the ceiling, and boy, can it emit some rays! When done right, it is magnificent. remodeling ideas

13. Use a Barn Door

Cover pantries or closets with a Barn Door. At Builders Surplus, we love this door style, it’s rustic, it’s unique, and it’s relatively easy to install! remodeling ideas

14. Add Ledge Stone tile

Another favorite here at Builders Surplus, this style of tile is excellent for backsplashes, but the look, to me, is perfectly epitomized around a fireplace. There’s just something about the stone look by a fireplace that makes it warm and inviting. Can you say, “good book by the fire?” remodeling ideas    

15. Switch out your Countertops

Now, I can understand if this seems a bit destructive, but in all actuality it’s not, and it doesn’t really matter which style you choose to upgrade them with, it will still be with it. Here at Builders Surplus, we have a number of options to choose from. Choices sure to spruce up your kitchens and baths in no time! remodeling ideas

16. Install a new Front Door

Your front yard is the essence of curb appeal, right? Installing a new front door, whether it’s fiberglass, or maybe even an iron door, the look will enhance your curb appeal sevenfold and provokes a more inviting, welcoming aura. remodeling ideas

17. Apply a Fresh Bead of Caulk

Noted as one of the many finishing touches in any household, sometimes it’s prudent to strip away the old and apply the new. You can do this around bathtubs, countertops, and windows! remodeling ideas   Amerock-Shop-Ad

18. Switch out your Door Hardware 

These little mechanisms often go unnoticed, but I can assure you, as soon as you update them you’ll appreciate the look and functionality. Most builders put in standard hardware, so if you’re looking to spruce things up a bit, don’t be afraid to make a change. This is another one of those easy remodeling ideas, for sure. remodeling ideas

19. Lay down Tile on your Front Porch

If you have a concreted front porch, then this look is perfect for you. My father and I installed a brilliant looking tile on my parent’s front porch, and it turned out fantastic. remodeling ideas

20. Put on a New Roof

Fact of the matter is, shingles fade over time. It is because of this that I suggest you look into a metal roof. Now, your first thought might be the sound of the rain pounding above you, but there are sound barriers that alleviate that nuisance. Above all, this is one of the more noticeable remodeling ideas because of its significance in curb appeal. remodeling ideas

21. Paint the Garage Floor

Unless it’s your thing, concrete can be kind of bleh. So the garage floor can be perceived as the usual, un-changing thing that you just merely have to deal with. But painting it completely changes the look of your garage. I should know, I did it last summer. It’s easy, pretty fun really, and extremely low-maintenance. remodeling ideas

22. Look at New Windows

Windows have been known to deteriorate over time, and once they do, they will give you nothing but problems. Take a good hard look at every window in the household and take note of air seeping through the seems. Also, it may just be time to update them. Bring in natural light in style! remodeling ideas

23. Get some New Light Switch Covers

Maybe you’ve just painted your walls, and Almond light switch covers just don’t seem to blend in with anything anymore. Or, you want to be quirky. There are tons of ideas and styles out there to add a gentle hue to your room. Make it your own! remodeling ideas   Wellborn Cabinets Shop

24. Put up a Skylight

Hands down one of my favorite remodeling ideas. If you’re a fan of natural light like I am then this is perfect for you. Bring the outside world in by installing one of these bad boys. I can promise you won’t regret it. remodeling ideas

25. Install New Cabinets

Want to really change the look of your kitchen? Bring in a batch of new kitchen cabinetry, and you’ll surely achieve that. Plus, we have lines from the most brilliant brands here at Builders Surplus like Wellborn, Waypoint, and our very own, Ginger Creek!  
Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We are the leading provider of Ledge Stone, wall tile and backsplash tile in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation! Written by: Chris Chamberlain            

Basement Flooring: The Best and The Worst

Basements can be a tricky ordeal to design and plan, especially when it comes time to decide which flooring you want to install. There’s the feel and stability of tile, the lovely, grained look of hardwood, and the lush, comfortable sensation of carpet. Now, you’re free to choose any option I’ve just mentioned, of course, but I urge you to proceed with caution. There are some options that just work better than others given the setting. Here, allow me to explain.

The Best Basement Flooring Options

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Tile: Given my professional experience in working with my father, tile is always a great option. I remember when my parents purchased the house they currently live in, he told me that all of the carpet would have to go. He never liked the feel or the look of it, I think. Now, I may have adopted that perspective, but I still stand firm by tile being the best basement flooring option. Why? It’s durable. The stability of a tile floor is the primary characteristic that I always preach about it when giving advice on choices. Whether it’s porcelain or ceramic, once it’s mortared to the concrete surface, it’s there for good.
Tile-Shop-Ad
 
 
basement flooring
Also, some basement floors aren’t all level. Settling issues can cause eruptions in hardwood flooring and ridges in carpet, and not to say that tile won’t crack if the problem is bad enough, but for the most part, you’re solid. But the main reason why tile is the best option for your basement is the risk of water damage. Where other options will be completely destroyed, tile will allow the water to puddle. So, if your basement does have a leak, you’ll at least have relief in knowing that your flooring is still intact. Also, the price is very affordable, depending on what you get. For example, we have beautiful pieces starting at $0.69 a sq. ft. Not bad for the best option, in my opinion.
basement flooring
CoreTEC Flooring: Now, remember I said that other material will be completely destroyed if flooding were to occur. Well, I take that back (kinda) because CoreTEC flooring isn’t just any type of hardwood floor. It is 100% waterproof. Not water-resistant. Water. Proof. Meaning, you could pour a whole gallon of water on a section of this product, enjoy a three-day weekend, and when you come back, it would look just the same.
 
 
Shop-Ad-Laminate_LVT
 
basement flooring
And it’s a gorgeous flooring to put down as well, all at a pretty decent price for what you pay for. Right now, in store, we have this innovative, gorgeous flooring for $2.99/sq. ft.

The Worst Basement Flooring Options

basement flooring
 
Carpet: Okay, here’s the deal. It’s not like I completely despise carpet. I actually think it’s pretty comfortable, despite what my father thinks. As far as a basement flooring option, it’s a no-go, though. In light of flooding, you’re in bad shape for two reasons. One, your floor will be demolished. I mean, done for, and there’s no going back from waterlogged carpet. Two, if you’ve ever witnessed a place where water has seeped through carpet, then you know the smell is potent. When this occurs, mold develops. The water rests underneath the carpet and underlayment, and it doesn’t take long for mold to develop at all. Once it starts, all it will do is spread unless you deal with it. So, to me, carpet plus basement equals high risk.
basement flooring
Regular Hardwood: Buckles on buckles on buckles. This type of flooring is simply not meant for places anywhere near water. Now, I know I keep stressing water damage and the risk of flooding, but it’s for a reason. In life, you just simply never know, and when it comes to your harm, it’s better safe than sorry, right? Regular hardwood isn’t built to withstand water.
 


Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We are the leading provider of Ledge Stone, wall tile and backsplash tile in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!
Written by: Chris Chamberlain

Fiberglass Doors: The Pros and Cons

Doors are the gateway, the essential transition from room to room, and the main passageway to your home. Fortunately for homeowners, there are options to choose from, like styles and designs. And then there’s the material, fiberglass doors, wood doors, and metal doors. In this post, I’d like to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of installing a fiberglass door. Like anything else, there are always two sides to a choice, and before you make one, it’s best to get a good handle of the product in its entirety. Let’s get started.
fiberglass doors

The Pros of Fiberglass Doors

fiberglass doors
Durability: Choosing fiberglass as a door material is beneficial in a number of ways, the best being that it is extremely stable. Capable of resisting through harsh, persistent weather, dents, scratches, and impervious to rust and rot, elements that can and will completely destroy wood and steel. This elemental and weatherproof resistance just adds to the longevity of the door, making it much more valuable.
fiberglass doors
Versatility: Another advantage of fiberglass doors is the ability to make it your own. Now, if you’re like me, you tend to grow tiresome of the same look, same color. With a fiberglass door, a fresh look can be as simple as applying a couple coats of paint. The material is such that you can stain or paint it to the color of your choice.
fiberglass doors
Insulation/Energy Efficiency: According to the Department of Energy, fiberglass doors have higher R-values than other doors, meaning they act as an excellent insulator, keeping your house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. In a time where energy costs are literally through the roof, using energy efficiently like this makes a huge difference to the environment AND those pesky household utility bills.
fiberglass doors
Security: Since the material is all but unbreakable, deterioration isn’t possible. Additionally, when this door is installed and fastened, the screw-holding power is amplified. In other wise, if a tornado were to come through *knocks on wood* don’t be surprised if your entry door still stands. Also, most of these doors are paired with highly secure locking mechanisms. No thievery allowed.

FiberglassDoors

The Cons of Fiberglass Doors

money
Price: No question, this is the biggest drawback. Compared to other types of doors, this is generally the priciest, but you do get what you pay for. The above qualities create value for a door, so if you want something durable, fashionable, and crazy secure, this is the option for you. Overall, it will pay for itself, given its insulation properties and energy-efficient ways. Just throwing some facts out there.
fiberglass doors
Fitting/Standard Size: If you have an older home then it could be difficult to find one of these doors to fit the gap. Because it’s not logical, profit wise, for manufacturers to make these doors in odd sizes, they simply come in their standard size.
fiberglass doors
Still-Life: A wooden door ages, right, so down the road the appearance takes on the “distressed” look, which is a style that many have fell in love with. You’ll get no aging when it comes to fiberglass. It is, essentially, a still-life. The Dorian Gray of doors, if you will. Depending on the way you look at it, this can be a plus or a minus. All a matter of perspective.
 


Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We are the leading provider of Ledge Stone, wall tile and backsplash tile in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!
Written By: Chris Chamberlain
 

Simple Design Choices to Sell Your Home Quicker

design choices If you’re looking to sell your home, odds are you’re already feeling a bit overwhelmed. Figures roll around your head, you start to look at your home a little more closely, needing to repair this, needing to repair that. In all, putting your house on your market can (and should) give you a bit of perspective. I am, of course, referencing the flip-the-script mentality, a buyer’s perspective. It can be difficult using empathy and tying up the laces of someone else’s shoes, but all in all, you need not worry. Here are some design choices to make sure you sell your home as quick as possible and for more money. Check it out.

Bathroom Design Choices

design choices     Among the many areas in a household, an elegant bathroom can absolutely sway an opinion. Let’s break into that buyer’s perspective and use a bit of imagination. You’re touring a gorgeous home with a beautiful kitchen, elegant flooring, unique designs, nice color detail, and then you get to the bathroom, and that happy expression slides off your face instantly. Unappealing bathrooms makes a house less attractive because a buyer has to weigh in the cost and time of a remodel. Instantly. And they haven’t even closed on the house yet. It’s just one of those things. design choices   Tile-Shop-Ad On the other hand, a bathroom design such as the one above boosts you home’s value drastically. According to Zillow, a “bathroom remodel of this type results in a $1.71 increase in home value for every $1.00 spent on the product.” See what I mean? The renovation can simply be done by adding a new bathroom sink and fixture, getting rid of the fiberglass shower and installing a brilliant shower tile. Vanities, light fixtures, and toilets are other simple additions that will turn a once “just-okay” bathroom into beautifully designed, welcoming-to-the-eye, one-of-a-kind bathroom. At Builders Surplus, we have beautiful in-stock vanities, design-oriented tile, and even freestanding tubs that are sure to awe to anyone!

Exterior Design Choices

 
design choices

Blue house exterior with yellow door, new windows, flowers, plants, and covered porch area.

  I’ve written about it before, and I’ll write about it again – curb appeal is significant.  Whether a home buyer pairs with a realtor or decides to go the old fashioned way by scoping the neighborhoods, they are at some point in time going to pull up to the front of the house. Appearance is everything in this regard, and it’s important to realize this relatively early, so you can get started on a nice design. The options are endless. My opinion? It’s the safest best if you want to do something simple and easy. Focus on the front door. US news reports that if you do something as simple as painting or replacing, it can bring the highest return of any other project – whomping 96%!  The priority here is to heighten the aesthetics to your exterior. Make it new, make it fresh, and make it shine. design choices And if you’re looking for a company to meet those kind of demands, look no further but to Andersen doors. We carry them here at Builders Surplus, and trust us, they provide the best products – hands down. If that doesn’t suit your fancy, and you’d like to go with something a little more elaborate, we have some really outstanding French patio doors and an absolutely stunning iron door for an excellent price! See for yourself here.

Kitchen Design Choices

design choices   Wellborn-Shop-Ad Ah, the kitchen. The most prominent place in the house, so it’s easy to understand that there’s a certain care, a certain emphasis that should be placed on this space. Now, in terms of this post, I’m definitely not saying you need to completely destroy the kitchen and start from scratch. No, that’s overdoing it a little bit. We’re going with the simple take on things, remember. Updating certain aspects of your kitchen can go a long way. In fact, according to Zillow, a minor kitchen remodel could recoup 83.1% of your costs. An excellent number for your investment. The Zillow article also states that anything outdated can immediately turn buyer’s off. Luckily, there are a few adjustments you can make that can lead to a big payoff. design choices Something as simple as changing your kitchen cabinet hardware can make the style more relevant and intriguing. Another is switching your cabinets to improve design. Here at Builders Surplus, we have these simple design choices readily available. We carry awesome cabinet hardware from well-known brands like Top Knobs, Jeffrey Alexander, and Amerock! Looking for cabinets? Once again, nothing but the top (and affordable) lines at Builders Surplus. Contact one of our designers to learn more about our Wellborn and Waypoint cabinetry lines!
Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We are the leading provider of Ledge Stone, wall tile and backsplash tile in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation! Written By: Chris Chamberlain

Want to learn more about kitchen & bath remodeling?

Family Friendly Kitchen Designs

kitchen designs   One of the first steps in preparation for kitchen designs is adhering to your audience, or in this case, the familial foodies that reside in the household. It’s no secret that your kitchen is, without question, the primary spot in your home. Think about it, you wake up, and if you’re like me, breakfast is already in mind, so you’ll raid the kitchen with hopes of finding some bacon and eggs, maybe even some pancakes. But that’s just me. Point is, it’s the place where you prepare your meals, and with as much time as you spend doing so, you want to me comfortable, relaxed, extremely pleased in area you work in. Depending on how small or large your family is, you may or may not need to make some accommodations. It is in my hopes that this post will deliver some ideas for you and yours on making your kitchen design feasible for the entire family. Let’s get started!

Using Space in Family Kitchen Designs

kitchen designs Counter Space: Large family or not, having room to prepare your meals can go the distance when it comes to comfortability in your kitchen design. Trust me, after having lived in several apartments, it can be a nuisance moving things around just to have a place to chop up a couple of onions. Do yourself a favor and provide ample room for cutting boards, utensils, and your appliances like a blender or the microwave. Think about Thanksgiving, and how much more comfortable you’ll feel when the relatives come over and you’re not having to squeeze into a compact kitchen because there’s simply not enough counter space. You’ll thank me later. kitchen designs Walking Space:  Let’s face it, the kitchen brings in more traffic than L.A. does at rush hour. People are in and out grabbing snacks and drinks throughout the entire day, right? So, think about the amount of space you actually need and act accordingly. This bit is especially true if you have an island in your kitchen. Be aware of how much room you have between the island and your wall cabinets, refrigerator, oven – you get the point. I cannot tell you how many times people have neglected precaution, ran with lazy kitchen designs, and want to know why their refrigerator door won’t open all the way. Use your space wisely. kitchen designs   Cabinets-Shop-Ad Cabinet Height: Now, it may not seem like much, but cabinet height matters. For example, my girlfriend is a tiny thing, barely 5”2′, and she’s constantly asking me to reach up and grab some ingredient or bowl from the top cabinet. I thought about getting her a stool, but that’s literally just another step to the cooking process, and no one wants to have to drag a stool out merely for a pinch of brown sugar. By all means, please, take your height into consideration and adhere your cabinets to it. Note: I say this meaning the actual, physical height of the cabinet as well as where you bolt them on your kitchen.

Quirks in Family Kitchen Designs

kitchen designs Adding stools/chairs: Much like the breakfast bar design, adding stools nestled underneath a countertop makes a kitchen more welcoming. It says, “this is not merely a place to cook, but a place to talk, as well.” Designer Eldon Long had this to say about his family-functional kitchen designs: “I wanted it to look more like a family room. The idea was, let’s make this a multifunctional space that we can use 24/7.” Taking a look at the picture below, you can see how well he achieved this effect. Families have a bond, right? One that encourages constantly through meaningful conversation and boundless unity. Making your kitchen emulate, say, a cafe allows for this space to be a place of conversation. kitchen designs Add a blackboard: Ah, my personal favorite. This idea screams quirky! Honestly, though, it definitely has its uses. Think about it, how many times have you went to the grocery and forgot something. Yeah, me too. Several times. Adding a blackboard not only adds character, but it allows family members to jot a list down or a special treat, making everyone aware. Fun, right?

Maintenance in Family Kitchen Design

kitchen designs   Shop-Ad-Laminate_LVT The Groundworks: Whether it’s hardwood flooring or tile, be conscious of what you put down in your kitchen as far as maintenance goes. Especially if you have little ones running around, you know how messy things can get. I mean, I just turned twenty-five, and I’ve been known to make a bit of a mess in kitchen. Just remember that some surfaces are more forgiving than others. In my opinion, 100% waterproof is 100% the way to go. Our CoreTEC flooring has the ability to withstands puddles, yes, puddles of water without damage.  It’s perfect for any room, any household, but definitely for families because you simply just never know. Like the old adage goes, better safe than sorry. You can check out this mind-boggling product here.   kitchen designs Countertops: Any surface in your kitchen should be relatively maintenance free. If there’s any place where “accidents” are going to happen, it’ll be the kitchen, don’t you agree. Pasta sauce covers the countertop, a wine glass plummets and breaks, or the usual “I forgot to cover the blender” mistake arises, and you’re left with a mess and a half to clean up. My opinion? Silestone. It’s a Quartz, so it provides the elegant look without the weakness of granite or marble. It won’t stain, it’s non-porous, providing you with a low-maintenance surface that ease that tantrum you have when the ketchup bottle explodes for no apparent reason. It is a kitchen, anything could happen.
Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We are the leading provider of Ledge Stone, wall tile and backsplash tile in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation! Written by: Chris Chamberlain

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Easy DIY Decor Pieces to Refresh Your Bathroom Design

There are a plethora of little projects you can do yourself that can and will add to your bathroom design. Sure, a bathroom is full of accessories and hardware, but little knick-knacks can add character, and it gives you the ability to make your bathroom unique. Plus, they’re extremely fun to make, and you’ll definitely want to show them off somehow. So, why not your bathroom?
bathroom design

Add Shelves to Enhance Bathroom Design

Building shelves and stacking them vertically in your bathroom does a number of things. It allows for more storage space, which is usually great for any sized bathroom, for one. But it also relieves you of the look of unwanted wall space, adding a bit of character to an otherwise plain wall. Also, you don’t necessarily have to stack cosmetics on them, either. If you have a themed bathroom, use the shelves to decorate and emphasize your theme by filling them with tiny decorations!
bathroom design

Introduce Some New Lighting

There’s nothing wrong with a little more lighting in your bathroom, especially if you have elements in your design that are screaming to be emphasized. If you have a large vanity, consider hanging some lights such as these! Drape them in the corners, so they’re out of the way and create a better looking ambiance in your bathroom. It’s as simple as finding a fixture that fits your design and running a bit of wire. Well worth it for a look such as this one, and it adds to functionality as well!
bathroom design

Make a Clever Sign using Bold Typography

Whether it’s a quote, a family inside joke, or just merely a word, making a clever sign is an excellent added feature for a bathroom design! You can get creative with the type of style, too! A rustic looking sign or maybe something more modern looking? Whatever it is, this idea gives you the ability to truly make your bathroom design your own!
bathroom design

Paint an Accent Wall

Now, truly, I’ve never even thought about doing this before, because it’s such a small space, but it really does add to the design, making it pop out a bit. This is an excellent idea for those that don’t want the traditional one color, neutral kind of design and would rather go with something quirky and fun…like an accent wall. Honestly, out of this list, I deem this one my favorite. Simple, easy (if you don’t mind painting like I do) and can make quite a change of appearance for such a minimal effort.
bathroom design

Make a Collage

Maybe you’re a collector of magazine cutouts, or photographs of animals, or you just have a bunch of stuff that you’re relatively sentimental about and want to flaunt it somewhere, but there’s no room in your bedroom. Ta-dah! You now have a place to put it. Okay, okay, it may seem a little quirky, but I think it’s kind of fun. You could decorate a wall with a bunch of photos of your friends, loved ones, the little ones in the family. I think as far as decorations go, the bathroom is a space that is extremely underrated. In fact, in every decorated bathroom I’ve been into, I’ve had to compliment the owner because it truly is a rarity.
bathroom design

A Breath of Fresh Air

Add some vegetation to the mix, and breathe in that fresh oxygen! Seriously, adding some plants into your bathroom is actually a pretty neat idea. For one, when was the last time you walked into someone’s home and you saw a natural-green plant soaking up some sun rays. Yeah, me either. Fancy restaurants are one thing, but rarely in someone’s home.
bathroom design

Create your Own Bathroom Towel Rack

Much like the clever sign, you can use the same approach and build your own towel rack. Grab a few pieces of wood of your choosing, fasten them together, stain it, pain it, or leave it! Hardest part is making sure you hit a couple of studs behind the wall, and there you have it! A cost-effective way of holding your towels, and all in a decorative fashion.
candles

Design Your Own Candle Holders

It’s no secret that candles and bathrooms go hand-in-hand right? Why not make yourself some cool-looking candle holders using your own design? It’s simple, easy-to-make and will work brilliantly with a fresh soothing scent!
 
Now, there’s a whole realm of ideas to work with, so don’t be afraid to explore your own creative outlet! It’s in my hopes that these 8 ideas did their job in sparking you with some inspiration for your bathroom design. The next time you look to enhance a room in your house, don’t overlook the bathroom, and remember these ideas. Add some character, get creative, and make it your own!
 


Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We are the leading provider of Ledge Stone, wall tile and backsplash tile in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!
 
Written By: Chris Chamberlain
 
 
 
 

What Direction Should You Run Your Hardwood Floor?

 
hardwood floor
There’s a secret to a hardwood floor that some people aren’t quite aware of. Luckily for you, dear reader, I’m willing to spill the beans during this post and reveal it to you. It’s one thing to pick out your flooring, making sure the color and design meshes well with the rest of your home, but it’s another to make sure it’s aesthetically pleasing upon install. One of the secrets I’m talking about is its appearance. The longer the board, the more grandiose it looks. The shorter the board, the cheaper it usually is. Taking this into account, you can determine how best to run your floor. First universal rule: The planks should always run perpendicular to the floor joists. This allows for the board to be spanned in the correct manner, ensuring stability.
 
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Hardwood

Run Your Hardwood Floor From Your Door

No matter which flooring you choose, the ultimate goal is to achieve that elegant, professional look. Starting from the door, running the floor perpendicularly from it, will give your hardwood floor a seamless appearance. Imagine you’re looking down a hallway, toward your entryway, and you can visualize how if a floor is set in one motion – it will do wonders. Now, of course, there are some exceptions to this rule. If  you’re laying a special pattern or in-lay, this would of course switch things up a bit. Essentially, it all depends on the layout of your home. In small areas, for example, different layouts look as I discussed before – choppy and out of place.

diagonally2

Running Your Hardwood Floor Diagonally

As far as stability goes, running your floor diagonally is just as sufficient as running it perpendicularly. It’s really all about the look with this approach, and it’s best achieved in large rooms like a living or dining room. The appearance is so appealing, stunning really. The degree of the angle really depends on the look you want to achieve, but 45 degrees is the most common by far. Although, there’s variations, especially when dealing with a skewed wall or a small space. Note: This method usually takes more time (a bit more expensive) because you end up wasting quite a bit of wood from all the desired cuts. But, in my opinion, it is well worth it.

hardwood floor

How Not To Run Your Hardwood Floor

Whatever you do, try to refrain from breaking up the patterns in a floor. Try not to use different patterns in different rooms because where it may seem like a great thing to do at first, using other designs for each room, the finished product will end up looking broken. It’ll be distorted in a way that makes each floor look messy and unorganized.
The proper way to run your hardwood floor pretty much depends on your choice of flooring. What is fundamentally clear, however, is that with whatever choice you pick, there is a sure way to make your flooring both visually attractive and concrete in stability. Just take note of the angles you’d like to use, the size of the room you’re working with, and be mindful of your transitions. Always be cautious of which way your joists lay for stability.
 


Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We are the leading provider of Ledge Stone, wall tile and backsplash tile in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!
Written By: Chris Chamberlain

Pre-mixed Mastic vs. Powder Based Mortar

I’d like to dig into a construction element known as “mastic” today, and more specifically, the two forms it’s available in. If you’ve never heard of mastic, then you’re in for a little treat because it’s actually pretty neat stuff and has a variety of uses. Before I give too much away, let’s first discuss exactly what it is.

Mastic is an extremely strong adhesive most commonly used in a construction setting. It’s what builders use to seal windows, doors, cracks, but it’s most common usage is hidden beneath your feet. The substance is perfect for setting and bonding tile to concrete or underlayment board due to its properties. Once dried, it is nearly impossible to come off.

Trust me, I’ve had the honor of having to bust out a tiled floor that had been installed in a heavy traffic area for 20 years. Two words: Chisel and hammer. It’s 100% not how you want to spend a Saturday afternoon. Sounds pretty neat though, right? It’s origin is just as interesting. Mastic, coincidentally enough, derives from the resin of the “mastic” tree. Scientifically, this tree is named Pistacia lentiscus, and can be commonly found in the Mediterranean region, specifically Greece and Turkey. Now that you know a little bit more about it, let’s dig into the two forms.


Pre-mixed Mastic

Advantage:

In pre-mixed form, the adhesive tends to be a bit more solid, a little more consistent, making it easier to work with in most instances.

For example, if you’re installing tile for a standup shower, it would be more prudent to use the pre-mixed, so your material isn’t slopping around everywhere, creating waste.

Gravity can be a nuisance when doing projects like tiled showers or backsplashes in your kitchen and bathroom. If you’re not too careful, your workspace can resemble a typhoon rather quickly. And the cleanup is horrendous.

There’s also the convenience factor. When you purchase this kind of mastic, it’s literally ready to go. Take the lid off, grab your trowel, and get to work. It’s as simple as that, BUT like everything else, the convenience of it being pre-mixed comes at a cost.

Disadvantage: 

Depending on where you go, the price comparison is going to be different, but generally speaking, pre-mixed is ALWAYS going to be more expensive. Covering the same amount of square feet, you can typically purchase a bucket of pre-mix for $35 and a bag of powder based mortar for around $16.

It also doesn’t dry as quickly as powder-based mortar, especially if you’re using large tiles. In my experience, we always let shower tiles dry for up to three days before we let the customers use it. Just to be safe. Another thing, if you have to “double float” an area on a wall or the floor because it’s not level, pre-mixed can be a bit of a pain.


Powder-based Mortar

Advantage:

When working with floor tile, powder-based mortar is MUCH easier to work with, especially when working with an uneven floor.

Since you have to mix before applying, you are in complete control over the consistency, allowing you to manipulate if you need a more solid foundation in a certain area, or something a bit “runnier” and easier to work with.

If you’ve ever worked with floor tile then you know exactly how difficult it can be to ensure that every piece is consistently level. No one wants a rocky road in their hallway. I’ve always found the mortar much easier to spread across larger surfaces.

Mastic is a gummy substance, and it can seem like you’re putting much more effort than you need to across a wider surface. With mortar, simply mix it so the consistency isn’t so dry, and it spreads like butter.

Obviously, there are a lot of factors that come into play here like room temperature, how level the surface is, what size or kind of tile you’re using. But for the most part, mortar is the way to go in larger areas. Also, it’s way cheaper than premixed mastic. There’s a reason why, though.

Disadvantage: 

The process of making it can be crazily monotonous, not to mention messy. Plus, there’s the inconvenience of having to keep mixing when you’ve finished your last batch.

Maintaining the same consistency takes a bit of practice, as well. I can’t tell you how many head shakes or sighs of disapproval my father has given me because one batch it perfect in consistency and the next is terribly dry or way too runny. It does take practice, and I’ll go ahead and tell you, if you can’t stand the feeling of dry hands for hours on end, powder-based mortar is not for you. Just throwing that out there.

Using this form of tile adhesive takes some extreme precision, too. Not just in the aspect of consistency, but of neatness, as well. Long story short, things can get horrifyingly messy if you’re not used to it.

My dad and I have a very simple approach when it comes to using these two forms of tile adhesives. Simply stated, we use the premixed when we’re working vertically (shower tiles and backsplashes) and powder-based on horizontal surfaces (floor tile). We’ve done enough tile projects to know gravity can be your worse enemy.

They’re both outstanding products, really. It just depends on the type of work you’re doing and your personal preference. Much like Android vs. iPhone in that regard. Take your pick. Good luck on your tile project!



Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We are the leading provider of Ledge Stone, wall tile and backsplash tile in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!
Written By: Chris Chamberlain

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James Martin Furniture: Luxury Bathroom Style

James Martin Furniture: Bosco Buttermilk Double Bathroom VanityJames Martin Furniture produces some high-end, beautiful vanity sets and pieces! With over 100 years in the business it’s apparent that they definitely know what they are doing and what their customer base wants! James Martin is a luxury bathroom furniture brand that is dedicated to the idea of craftsmanship and pride in their products.
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What is James Martin Furniture?

James Martin Furniture is a high-end, quality, luxury brand of bathroom vanities pieces and sets. The founders of James Martin Furniture set out 100 years ago to unite their combined experiences and build an uncompromising brand of bathroom cabinets that rivaled the style, techniques and qualities of other home furniture brands – even to this day! The founders of James Martin Furniture believed – and the company still believes – that by integrating the style of fine home furnishings into your bathroom that your bathroom space could become a space of beauty within your home and one of your favorite spaces to come home to relax and unwind!

James Martin Furniture: Double Bathroom Vanity

Why James Martin Vanities?

The bathroom furniture pieces created by the James Martin brand start out as genuine North American harvested hardwood. This wood is selected by the buyers who inspect each slab to endure that it meets the strict standards that are held by the James Martin brand. The wood is then ready to be made into the cabinet construction materials through a process of drying and moisture testing that ensures that the selected lot will yield the very best treated product.
The cabinets are then hand crafted and each component is created and installed by a skilled team of craftsmen. Such high-quality labor is put into these pieces that even the designs are hand carved into the wood to create a truly unique and beautiful piece of art. At each stage of production quality control experts are there to keep an eye and supervise the creation of the vanities and ensure that they are up to strict quality standards. The finish – whether it be stained or painted – is applied in several layers through several steps to give the cabinet depth and a richness of color. Finally, the vanity cabinet is once again checked by a quality control expert and given the green light to be sold as a one of a kind James Martin Furniture vanity cabinet.
Shop Now: James Martin Furniture Bathroom Vanities
James Martin Furniture Vanity Cabinets are one of the worlds leading producers of bathroom furniture and it definitely elevates the look and feel of any bath. If you’re looking for something different and more luxurious than a traditional cabinet vanity then consider adding a James Martin Vanity to your remodel!
Shop Now James Martin Furniture Vanities


Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!
Written By: Kat Flaherty

Attic Remodel: Ideas for an A+ Attic

Nowadays, every room in a house needs to be utilized.  With so many unique storage options, home owners aren’t using their attics for holiday decorations and old clothes anymore.  They are turning the top portions of their homes into top priority renovations.  From retreats to home gyms, an attic can be used for multiple purposes.  Gone are the days of a musty, dusty space without insulation and questionable floorboards.  Now is the time for an attic remodel!  Here are some fresh looks for your otherwise ignored space.

Guest Hideaway

Attic Remodel Bedroom Idea

Give your guests peace and quiet with a room all their own, without being attached to the heart of the house.  Allow the structural beams to remain exposed and add a large chandelier to give that five-star feel.  People will be begging to visit in no time!

Mats and Mantras

Who says that you can’t make it your own space to clear your head?  Clean up the clutter and get to meditating by turning your attic into a personal yoga studio.  This can be achieved in a manner of styles: from exotic to minimalist, you’ll never want to leave this inner-calming room.  This is an ultimate attic remodel.

Book Nook Attic Remodel

Attic Remodel Idea Library

Whether you are an avid reader or you have a collection bursting the seams of your home office, this attic idea can will have every bookworm curled up and ready for a text-based adventure.  Short and stout shelves add more storage, and you could even warm up the space with large area rugs.

Kids Create

Most of the rooms in our homes are dedicated to us, the adults.  Well, why not make a space for the little ones to explore, craft, and enjoy without supervision?  And since some attics don’t have the headspace to house us grown-ups, you could spruce up the room for a youthful hideaway fit for kids of all ages!

Like what you are seeing?  Check out more attic remodeling ideas over on our Pinterest!


Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!
Written By: Katie Hager

Copper Sinks: The Essential Starter Guide

Copper Sinks: The Essential Starter Guide: FeaturedA
Copper Sinks – when you say copper sinks you might think of an old brown and green bowl sitting on a vanity in the old west before there was plumbing; however, copper sinks today are much different than they were way back when, they are a beautiful statement piece to any kitchen design or bathroom remodel. They’re link shiny red-brown chameleons – constantly changing and always stunning to look at and watch change over time. There are many reasons why you might want to add a copper sink to your kitchen design or bathroom remodel; it could be their unique and diverse style or their ability to be antimicrobial. Whatever the reason for your consideration of a copper sink, there is no denying that it will be the talking point of your guests around the dining room table.

Properties of Copper Sinks

Copper sinks are as unique as they come, in both style and function. When seeking copper sinks you should look for sinks that are 99% pure copper, preferably with that remaining 1% being zinc, which will add to it’s strength. Do be warned that when ordering copper sinks from China, India, or the Middle East as lead can be used as a filler because it has similar workability to copper and is inexpensive. Lead is also harmful to humans – so be cautious when ordering outside of the United States.
Copper is an extremely soft metal which means that it can be shaped and hammered into different designs to turn an average bowl into a stunning masterpiece!

Copper Sinks: Mount & Style

Like any other sink, copper sinks also come in a variety of styles and mounts. They can be unadorned or extremely elaborate – it all just depends on what you’re looking for and what you’re willing to spend. Sink mounts refer to how the sink is installed and will look on the countertop, while style generally refers to the finish of the product.

Decorative, Farmhouse

Decorative sinks tend to be more ornate and have intricate designs either hammered or stamped into the metal. They are extremely elegant and with the reactive and changing nature of copper sinks they will always look a little different the next copper sink! Farmhouse, is the kind of mount, and is not unique to copper sinks. Farmhouse mounted sink are also called an apron mount where the front of the sink is exposed or overhangs from the the cabinets below it. Farmhouse is a great look and feel to go for with more country, or traditional style kitchens. Now, just because these two are listed together doesn’t mean that’s how all copper sinks are. You can most certainly get a decorative sink with a different mount or just a plain farmhouse mount with no decoration.
Copper Sinks: The Essential Starter Guide: Decorative Farmhouse

Hammered, Drop In

Hammered sinks are less ornate than more decorative style sinks, however they’re more unique than plain or brushed finish copper sinks. Hammered sinks give a faceted look to a shiny sink that has little patina to it, like you’re washing dishes in an amber bowl. When your sink has a more patina’d look to it, it makes the bowl appear more rustic and handmade – craftsmanship like. Drop In sinks are more common because their weight is what largely keeps them in place on the counter top, and thus are really easy to install.
Copper Sinks: The Essential Starter Guide: Hammered Drop In

Brushed, Under Mount

A copper sink – with little else to it will be eye catching, so if you’re wanting something more simple than what else can be seen on here then looking towards a brushed finish is a simple and understated, yet still elegant solution. Under mount sinks are beautiful because the countertop sits directly above them, giving the space a more modern and seamless look.

Hammered Under Mount

Hammered Finish Under Mount Sinks

Finished, Vessel

There are different kinds of finishes, the kind that I am referencing here are copper sinks that have something other than a wax or sealant to finish them, such as glass or acrylic. The bonus to this is that the copper will stay in all it’s original, shiny, beautiful, glory – if you can’t stand slight inconsistencies or change in your sink finish then this is the way to go! A vessel mount sink appears to be a simple bowl sitting atop your vanity or countertop. These are decorative of themselves and make great statement pieces without needing any kind of finish! Vessel sinks come in many different shapes and styles. If you want a unique looking sink that goes beyond just copper, vessel sinks are as unique and as out there as you can get!
Copper Sinks: The Essential Starter Guide: Unique Vessel

Pros & Cons of Copper Sinks

Everything in this world has its ups and downs. When it comes to sinks it just depends on what you want, and how much you can spend. If antimicrobial properties are important to you then you’re only bet is copper.

Pros:

  • They’re beautiful: It’s that simple. Copper sinks are some of the most beautiful and unique! The fact that they’re made from one sheet with no seams also makes them like works of art. They can be hammered and shaped to almost any dimension. Copper sinks do form a patina as they’re exposed to water and air, so if you love the original color you can have it coated to preserve it’s beauty. If you like their reactivity, the ever changing color and patina of copper sinks are just a bonus to their beauty. This goes beyond copper sinks being beautiful, they literally have countless combinations of finish and style. Some look like regular sinks and others look like works of art!
  • They’re antimicrobial: This unique property of copper sinks makes them favorable for kitchens, while bacteria can live on many sinks surfaces for weeks at a time, bacteria on copper sinks can only last a matter of hours. However, the EPA states that you shouldn’t coat (paint, lacquer, varnish, wax, etc.) your copper sinks if you wish to keep the antimicrobial nature if the metal.
  • Copper is 100% recyclable: Copper retains 95% of it’s original value when being sold after recycling. In fact, it’s likely that the copper sink that you’re getting is already made from previously recycled copper.
  • They’re durable: Depending on the gauge (thickness) of copper that your sink comes in will definitely affect its durability, the thicker the copper the less likely to dent it will be. Copper sinks are resistant to corrosion and rust, making it an ideal choice for a sink material.

Cons:

  • They’re highly reactive: If you want your copper sinks to maintain their color you’ll need to coat them – which will rid of you of the antimicrobial properties of the metal as well. Acidic foods and drinks, abrasive cleaners, and extremely hot or cold cookware can change the color of your sink, darkening it and leaving odd colored spots. Granted, as the patina darkens everything will become more uniform as time progresses. However, unless they’re sealed periodically it is extremely hard to maintain a copper sinks original shine.
  • They’re expensive: More than just being an expensive choice for a sink, they’re also expensive to repair. Copper is a very soft and malleable metal, so it can be easily dented and warped, meaning that you’ll likely need to repair it more often than other sink materials. Keep in mind that thinner gauge copper sinks will dent more easily than thicker gauge copper sinks.
  • They need more maintenance: To keep it’s shine and finish in tact for as long as possible you should dry the sink with a soft towel after every use and you should be careful with what products you use to clean it as some more acidic cleaners can discolor your sink. Warm water and gentle soap is usually all it takes.

Copper Sinks: The Essential Starter Guide: Reactive
When all is said and done choosing the right sink for you is up to you, however, we hope, that in considering copper sinks for your next kitchen design or bathroom remodel that we’ve provided you with the necessary information to decide if a copper sink is right for your home and family! They’re stunning and unique pieces with equally unique properties that make them ideal in any kitchen! Now that you know something about copper sinks, if you think that you’re ready to shop around you can view our copper sink selection on our website!
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Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!
Written By: Kat Flaherty